October 6, 2009

Closed: Bistro 24


Bistro 24 closes after just 3 months. Stefano Coppola need more time for Lupa? Again?

[ESF: Three Months Later, Bistro 24 Is the Short-Lived Bistro 24]
[NVSF: Another Noe Valley Restaurant/Cafe For Sale]
[NVSF: Announced: Bistro 24]

29 comments:

murphstahoe said...

The curse of Miss Millie's lives on.

laney said...

Too bad. I really liked that place. :(

-ellen. said...

I'm glad I didn't waste my time on a Yelp review after our less than good experience there on Friday night. Too often trying something new is so not worth it. I wish that wasn't true so often in Noe Valley.

malia said...

When will restaurant owners realize that 24th street doesn't need another mid-priced american eatery? They either need to open a higher-end, destination spot (like Incanto, Firefly), or something fun and budget-friendly (gourmet pizza, Pluto's, etc.). Or maybe gut that whole place and remodel. It clearly has some bad juju.

Bistro Just Awesome! said...

What's up with Stefano Coppola, I mean come on - 6 months for the generically-named City Grill and then only 3 months for Bistro 24? I mean the menus on either were either uncreative or just unappetizingly bizarre (the fois gras "BLT" comes to mind - simultaneously low-brow and snobby... who's been looking for that combination lately), but you gotta get an idea you can believe in, and then stick with it.

On the other hand, I've been feeling like Lupa's quality has been lackluster lately, so maybe he's making the right call and focusing on what's working.

If a place shuts down after 3 months, though, it's surely a sign of a poorly thought business plan, miscalculation in accounting, or simple insanity. I'd like to be supportive of local business owners, but 3 months is like not even giving his customers a chance, let alone his workers.

murphstahoe said...

My wife is claiming that Mi Lindo Yucatan is also a recent victim!

Anonymous said...

Well, Mi Lindo Yucatan had something like 6 years to succeed. I think that's giving it long enough chance.

MrGreshy said...

Good riddance. Mi Lindo Yucatan was/is terrible. We need a BBQ joint.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should say that ... Before Mi Lindo, it WAS a BBQ joint. Someone told me the same owner owned that one, too.

Personally, I'd like a good vegetarian place here as much as a good BBQ joint... After eating at the latter, you can detox at the former.

Anyone out there with restaurant experience? I think we have plenty of storefronts to choose from :-) I have cash but no expertise, else I'd do it myself...

noe lover said...

what about a thin crust pizza place like Gialina in Glen Park or Pizzetta 211 in the Richmond? Seems to me it would be a great addition to the neighborhood ...

kitchen bitch said...

Limon Rotisserie should open up a place in Noe. Have you been to the one on 21st and So. Van Ness? It is amazing and so cheap! For $15 you get a whole roast chicken and two sides. Amazingly cheap and always busy. Perfect place for a family in Noe Valley.

And it looks like the folks of NV like whole roasted chickens. They can't seem to keep them coming fast enough at the new Whole Foods.

Godot said...

Wow. $15 for a whole roast chicken and 2 sides. Sounds like more expensive (yes) American fare.

I agree with malia above about what we DON'T need and what we DO need (leaning towards the "budget friendly" ideas) and the VEGETARIAN-friendly ideas.

And don't forget KID-friendly too - this is breeder central, folks. Park your double-wide strollers and c'mon in for cheap eats!

Part of the problem with Bistro 24 is its location. MIss Millie's thrived (sort of) because it was good.

murphstahoe said...

"Funny you should say that ... before Mi Lindo, it WAS a BBQ joint. Someone told me the same owner owned that one, too."

It was a Cajun place.

"And don't forget KID-friendly too - this is breeder central, folks. Park your double-wide strollers and c'mon in for cheap eats!"

Stefano put Bistro 24 across the street fron Barney Burger. Barney is cheaper and more kid friendly - I never went to Bistro 24 but City Grill had a $12 burger across the street from a "similar" $8 burger. Barney's is definitely not hurting these days.

The overall food picture in Noe is a disgrace, given the demographics of the area. I'm almost ready to see Whole Foods put several of the weaker players out of business so stronger players come in.

Anonymous said...

A really big nail salon would be great here.....

har har...I would like to see a Pluto's-like place come in, or something like that Limon place...

NoeValleyHome said...

Plutos, MixtGreens, The Grove would all be a success in Noe -- healthful food at the right price. More outdoor seating solutions would be key too in this neighborhood. All are local businesses, perhaps we should collectively reach out to the respective owners.

Godot said...

You bet, murphstahoe, but I still get harassed by non-San Franciscans about how ridiculous an $8 (even $6) burger is. And Barney's, while moderately kid-friendly, doesn't have a kid's veggie burger. But man they can eat those fries and power down those $4 shakes.

Anonymous said...

"The overall food picture in Noe is a disgrace, given the demographics of the area."

You say this and then you talk about how great Barney's is in the same breath. C'mon, make up your mind.

I don't think Bistro24 was competing against Barney's. Totally different target markets. Actually, the presence of Barney's increases local foot traffic, so as long as you're not competing in the same space (what is that - mediocre burgers I guess), you should just get a few more people looking at your menu. No, Bistro obviously had a cash flow problem. Likely scenario is that they couldn't make "City Grill" work for 6 months, tried to sell, couldn't, so they did a Hail Mary pass with a new restaurant, which was so-so, and now they REALLY have to sell the biz.

andy c said...

dang, i just found out when i tried to go there tonight

i liked this place a lot, the fried corn on the cob was the bomb, actually pretty much everything i tried there was really good

murphstahoe said...

"You say this and then you talk about how great Barney's is in the same breath. C'mon, make up your mind."

I said Barney's is cheaper and more kid friendly, I didn't say it was great. The first supposition is fact - check the menus - the second is anecdotal, the place is noisier (and has decent outdoor seating) as such more comfortable for parents with kids (disregarding any discomfort for a specific parent regarding the content of the menu). This formula means they are packed, and City Grill/Bistro 24 is out of business.

That said, I can deal with Barney's - it's "A Hamburger" and 2 blocks from home.

My hit list would include Subs Inc, the chinese place on 24th, the sushi joint on 24th, Mi Lindo Yucatan, Noe Valley Deli, Manhattan Bagel, one of the two thai places above Diamond. Casa Mexicana is ok but weak compared to many places in the Mission, and frankly I preferred Herb's to Toast (and we have another Toast 8 blocks away!). Your mileage may vary.

Could be worse - we could be in the Castro.

Godot said...

Well, murphstahoe, it stopped being "Manhattan Bagel" quite a long time ago and is once again "Holey Bagel". Their bagels are probably the best in the city (like pizza, we're bagel-challenged here when compared to the east coast); far superior to those from the hideous place across the street...I hate soft bagels; they're awful.

The others on your list agree with. Replace 'em. Subs Inc. is the son of the Noe Valley Deli owner; never had a sub there but c'mon man, have some creativity! Or at least make an eggplant parmesan sub...

Anonymous said...

It's easy to talk when your own money is not on the line. Any more armchair restaurateurs? Anyone actually want to give it a try? No? I didn't think so.

It's easy to take cheap shots at local businesses. Try making a constructive suggestion on what businesses can do, instead.

murphstahoe said...

Well, murphstahoe, it stopped being "Manhattan Bagel" quite a long time ago and is once again "Holey Bagel".

Ai-yi-yi! My bad! I meant "Noe Bagel". Holey Bagel rules! I swear by Holey Bagel. Long live Holey Bagel! I'm so embarrassed.

"Anyone actually want to give it a try? No? I didn't think so."

I'm already running two other businesses into the ground.

The problem on 24th St is that some of the restaurants stay afloat despite their mediocre offerings because the inability of good competition to come in and clean their clocks is limited. Fresca moved in and it was hard to get a table. A 20 minute wait for Toast is a sign we're underserved.

I'm a giant stinky sold my car bike riding buy local tree-hugger. If I can walk to it and I won't support it, they're doing something wrong.

Of course this does not explain the fact that 3 restaurants have failed where Miss Millie's prospered for years. I'll go visit Stefano at Lupa in sympathy, and order a 2nd bottle of wine. And then I'll call the Little Star people and ask for a 3rd location on 24th St.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the people that think it is a good idea to proactively call businesses and alert them to this open space on 24th. No new restaurants can move in due to an antiquated restaurant moratorium, so unless a restaurant closes a new one may not open. We need to begin wooing a good restaurant right now!

Call Little Star (brilliant idea, BTW)! Call Mixt Greens! Email the owners. Ask the Noe Valley CBD to meet with these potential new additions to 24th to offer them a warm welcome. We can have decent food in Noe- it just takes some leg work.

Anonymous said...

Are many of these failures at least partly attributable to high rents? Noe Valley has snob appeal, and landlords may be asking too high as a result. I don't have the data to know for sure, but I'm not seeing nearly the same failure rates in nearby Mission, for example. Of course the latter also has higher foot traffic.

chipie said...

Unsurprising. You want constructive criticism... how about this: poor quality and expensive?
This place tried to pull off the $12 appetizer + $20 entree vibe, but chewy seafood + canned tomatoes in a salad = no repeat.
The place was totally kid friendly, btw... there was no one around for our baby to bother.

chipie said...

oh, and the reason we tried bistro 24... contigo was packed. we finally went ridiculously early on a weeknight and found out why. now *that* place rocks. incanto, firefly and now contigo.

Anonymous said...

"You want constructive criticism... how about this: poor quality and expensive?" - you might want to read up on the definition of "constructive criticism". Because yours isn't it. Having said that, those are valid points. Bistro24 was pretty much asking to be ignored out of existence. Contigo is plain overrated. It just shows how lacking in dining options we have here in Noe. Firefly used to be good, but now they're just going through the motions. Sorry, there are just better places elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to this conversation, but to the Anon immediately above me, I think that chipie's post is pretty much the definition of constructive criticism. He or she pointed out specific flaws (i.e., price point and canned food), rather than generally bitching.

IMO, the bigger problem is when people treat local businesses like hothouse flowers that can never ever be disturbed, lest they wilt. It's everyone's right to ask for better local stores and restaurants. If Bistro 24 was a good local business, it would still be open.

And OF COURSE there are better places elsewhere. You can say that about anywhere! It adds nothing to the discussion, though.

not chipie said...

"[P]oor quality and expensive" is criticism. Constructive it is not. Look up the meaning sometime if it's unclear. That's constructive suggestion for you, chipie/Anonymous. "Constructive" means "pointing out solutions", not "generally bitching" which is what that post actually was. Words like "poor quality" and "expensive" are such generic criticism as to be pretty much worthless, IMO.